Delay Sending Your Emails in Microsoft Outlook
2013, 2010, 2007 and Earlier
Provided by: FMS Development Team
didn't mean to send that!
Have you ever sent a message in Microsoft Outlook and
immediately wished you could get it back?
Do you remember something you need to change
immediately after pressing Send? Maybe a
related email came in while you composed your
message. Maybe you forgot to add the attachment
you mentioned in your email.
Or maybe you just need to cool down and reflect a
little more before sending your message. Having
the ability to stop and delete that message
could save your job, relationship, or client!
Solution: Add a Short Delay Before Your Messages
are Actually Sent
Fortunately, there's a simple solution to
tell Outlook to delay sending your message. By
setting an Outlook rule, you can delay all your
messages for a few minutes.
How it Helps: Retrieve the Message from Your
Before a message is sent, Microsoft Outlook
places it in your Outbox prior to sending it to
your Exchange Server. The default behavior is
for Outlook to immediately send all messages
that are put in the Outbox.
By adding the rule to delay this, your
message will sit in the Outbox giving you the
opportunity to open it again to edit it, or
simply delete it. You can specify the number of
minutes you'd like like the message to wait
before it's sent. You can also create
exceptions, like not delaying any messages that
are marked as Important.
Delay delivery of all messages
The example below is for Outlook 2013, 2010, 2007 and earlier. If you are using Outlook
2016, please visit: Delay Sending Your Emails in Microsoft Outlook 2016
From the File menu, choose the Manage Rules & Alerts button:
For earlier versions of Outlook, from the Tools menu, click "Rules
Click "New Rule..."
In the "Start from a blank rule" section, select
"Apply rule on messages I send". In earlier versions of Outlook, this
was called "Check
messages after sending." Then click Next.
For the next screen, you can limit the rule based on certain conditions.
Select any options you want. We leave them all unchecked, which opens confirmation dialog.
Click "Yes" to confirm that the rule applies to all the messages you send.
Check the option to "defer delivery by a number of minutes":
The rule appears in the bottom Step 2 section. Click on the "a number
of" minutes to specify how many minutes you'd like to delay your
Delivery can be delayed up to two hours.
Click OK, and then click Next.
You can then specify exceptions. We like to create an option to bypass
the rule when a message is marked as important:
You can then specify a name for your new rule, then click Finish.
Using Your Outbox
From your Outlook Mail folder, you can
display the list of folders and Favorites. The
Outbox folder contains the messages that are
sent but being delayed due to your rule. For
simplicity, drag the Outbox folder to your
This lets you easily grab any messages
before they actually go out. You now have a few
minutes to edit your message, add a forgotten attachment, or
delete the message. After you edit and hit the Send button, the clock starts
again for the delay. Hope this helps!
Difference with Outlook 2013
This rule works with all versions of Outlook;
however, Outlook 2013 has a slightly different behavior.
In Outlook 2010 and earlier versions, if you edited the email in
your Outbox, the clock restarted. So if you have a 3
minute delay, after you edit and send your email, the
email sits in your Outbox for another 3 minutes.
In Outlook 2013, the time when you first send the
email remains and is not reset after your edit. If
you're past the original 3 minute window, the edited
email is immediately sent. The clock does not restart
and there's no way to modify this. We consider this a
significant shortcoming and were surprised to see our
emails disappear right after editing them from the
Outbox. We'll let you know if we learn of a workaround
or if the behavior reverts to it's old behavior.